We’re making a break for it.

We’ve got stacks of books to read for our Summer issue, the Southern sunshine is beckoning us outside into the long-awaited spring, and the plumbers downstairs are making one helluva racket. (Plus our boss is out of town; you won’t tell on us, right?) But just because we’re itching to play hooky doesn’t mean we’re going to leave you high and dry. This week in the Bluestocking Salon we’ve collected several news items from the reading world, teasers for what’s headed your way in the coming weeks, and some advice on spring cleaning those bookshelves.

books with bag

Just a few of the books under consideration for our Summer catalog. (You should see our office shelves!)

♦  “Reading is like feeding myself—I need to keep reading like I need to keep eating.” In the Atlantic, novelist Susan Minot ruminates on the power of great writing.

♦  Can reading change our brains? Scientists say yes.

♦  Jane Austen, never stop fascinating us.

♦  Those sly folks over at McSweeney’s recently got to wondering how Faulkner’s gothic South might play on reality TV.

♦  Just six days and counting until Bas Bleu’s Spring 2014 issue—which also happens to be our 20th Anniversary edition!—lands in your mailbox. You’ll find special surprises inside in honor of the occasion, as well as more than one hundred new books and gifts selected just for you.

♦  Are you primed and ready for March Madness? Because our second annual Tournament of Classics is in the works, with a Sweet Sixteen of contenders that’s sure to inspire heated competition from loyal readers.

♦  Keep your eyes peeled for reader guides and discussion questions for our spring Book a Month selections: Hons and Rebels, Fear in the Sunlight, and Tigers in Red Weather.

♦  If stacks of (already-read) books are threatening to overtake your home, may we suggest spring cleaning for a good cause? Gently worn books can earn a second life (while freeing up space for new titles) when you donate them* to:

  • your local library, for resale at library book sales
  • retirement homes
  • literacy programs and childcare facilities
  • local departments of correction
  • Little Free Libraries (to find one in your town, check out this map)
  • other non-profit agencies in your community

    *To make sure your donations find the right home, the non-profits we spoke to suggest calling ahead before delivering your books. Many organizations will reward you with a receipt for tax purposes, plus you’ll know your books are brightening the lives of others.

Now it’s time for us to roll up our sleeves, pack up our book bags, and head for the park—er, get back to work! And, hey, if we’re going to devote the day to reading, you might as well too. We suspect you already have a book hidden in your desk drawer…